Yacht Club was originally founded in the 1850’s and grew rapidly
during the affluent age after the Civil War when the popularity of
boats and yachting was a prized gentleman’s sport.
At its peak Philadelphia Yacht Club had buildings and piers on the Delaware River
south of the Schuylkill River and the Navy Yard in the area west of Tinnicum
Island in Essington PA. At that time gentlemen members frequently stayed at the
Club for the weekends during the season to enjoy the camaraderie of the other
members and to escape the stifling heat of the city. Evenings were spent playing
cards and other games of choice; days were spent knocking about boats. Meals
were prepared by a house staff and served by liveried servers. During its peak
Philadelphia Yacht Club even had its own stop on the local railroad.
At the end of the great depression, Philadelphia Yacht Club was in financial
straights and by the beginning of the US participation in WW-II the Club suspended
operations due to the lack of available men to participate and financial hardship.
Philadelphia Yacht Club remained inactive until 1986. However, upon completion
of the Philadelphia Marine Center at piers 12 through 24 on the Delaware River,
enough interested boaters joined by those at Piers 3 and 5 assembled and reincorporated
the club finally in April of 1987.
The early membership swelled to over 110 with the club meeting monthly at various
locations. In 1989 PYC took its 1st new quarters located on the second floor
of the Pier 3 & 5 head house and a year later moved down to first floor overlooking
the boats and slips in the Pier 3 marina. Unfortunately, after several years,
rising operating costs made that location untenable and PYC once again resorted
to using area restaurants and clubs for its monthly meetings.
In 1998 the new facility at the corner of Front & Vine Streets was completed
and remains the Club’s location today.